Trained as a priest for the Church Missionary Society (CMS), William Yate arrived in the Bay of Islands in 1828. His job was to study the Māori language and teach in the mission schools. Yate prepared scriptural texts in Māori and wrote the first history of the society.
Yate was most famous (or infamous) for a sex scandal, in which he was said to have engaged in sexual relations with several male Māori youths. Christian teaching condemned same-sex relationships. However, because there was no evidence of anal sex, Yate could not be legally charged with sodomy. While he continued to protest his innocence, the taint led the CMS to engineer his dismissal in 1837. Yate lived out the rest of his life as a chaplain in a parish in Dover, England.
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